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LCROSS in the Vacuum Chamber August 14, 2008

Posted by jtintle in Satellite, Space Fotos.
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Credit:

NASA, Northrop Grumman, Ames Research Center (ARC)

Description:

Northrop Grumman engineers in Redondo Beach, Calif., lower the LCROSS spacecraft into a vacuum chamber that simulates conditions in space. It will be destroyed while seeking water ice on the moon.

My Notes:
Well I pulled this image from a Popular Mechanics story by Michael Milstein, in the September issue, that was tweeted about by LCROSS on twitter. LCROSS stands for Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite.

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Baby Stars in the Witch Head Nebula August 21, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Spitzer Space Telescope (SST), Deep Space, JPL, NASA, Nebula, Satellite, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Witch Head Nebula.
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image

Credit:

NASA/JPL-Caltech/L.Rebull (SSC/ Caltech)

Description:

Eight hundred light-years away in the Orion constellation, a gigantic murky cloud called the “Witch Head” nebula is brewing baby stars. The stellar infants are revealed as pink dots in this image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. Wisps of green in the cloud are carbon-rich molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are found on barbecue grills and in automobile exhaust on Earth. This image was obtained as part of the Spitzer Space Telescope Research Program for Teachers and Students, involving high school teachers and their students from across the United States. The infrared image is a three-color composite, in which light with a wavelength of 4.5 microns is blue, 8.0-micron light is green, and 24-micron light is red.

Stirred-up Saturn June 30, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Cassini, JPL, NASA, Planets, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute.
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Stirred-up Saturn

Image Credit:
NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Description:

A great vortex rolls through high southern latitudes on Saturn, whirling twisted contours into the clouds. The ringed planet’s uppermost clouds are thought to be composed largely of ammonia ice overlying deeper layers of ammonium hydrosulfide and water clouds.

The image was taken with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 13, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 143 degrees. The image was obtained using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. Image scale is 17 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

Cassini at the Half June 29, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Cassini, European Space Agency, JPL, NASA, Planets, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos.
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The Moving Moons of Saturn June 26, 2006

Posted by jtintle in APoD, Cassini, Enceladus, European Space Agency, JPL, Mimas, NASA, Planets, Rhea, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute, SSI, Website.
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See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Credit:

Cassini Imaging Team, SSI, JPL, ESA, NASA

Explanation:

The moons of Saturn never stop. A space traveler orbiting the ringed giant planet would witness a continuing silent dance where Saturn’s multiple moons pass near each other in numerous combinations. Like a miniature Solar System, the innermost moons orbit Saturn the fastest. The above movie was centered on Saturn’s moon Rhea, so that the moons Mimas and Enceladus appear to glide by. At 1,500 kilometers across, Rhea is over three times larger than the comparably sized Mimas and Enceladus. The Sun illuminates the scene from the lower right, giving all of the moons the same crescent phase. The above time lapse movie was created by the Saturn-orbiting robotic Cassini spacecraft over a period of about 40 minutes.

NASA’s Chandra Answers Black Hole Paradox June 22, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Chandra X-ray Observatory, Deep Space, Illustration, NASA, Satellite, Space Agencies, Space Fotos.
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GRO J1655-40
.

Credit:

 Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss; X-ray Spectrum: NASA/CXC/U.Michigan/J.Miller et al

Description:

The X-ray spectrum (see inset) of a binary star system consisting of a black hole and a normal star indicates that turbulent winds of multimillion degree gas are swirling around the black hole. As the illustration shows, much of the hot gas is spiraling inward toward the black hole, but about 30% is blowing away.

The temperature and intensity of the winds imply that powerful magnetic fields must be present. These magnetic fields, likely carried by the gas flowing from the companion star, create magnetic turbulence that generates friction in the gaseous disk and drive winds from the disk that carry momentum outward as the gas falls inward. Magnetic friction also heats the gas in the inner part of the disk to X-ray emitting temperatures.

The analysis of the disk wind of GRO J1655-40, or J1655 for short, confirmed what astronomers had long suspected, namely that magnetic friction is central to understanding how black holes accrete matter rapidly. Without a process to take away some of the angular momentum of the gas, it could remain in orbit around a black hole for a very long time.
J1655 is a binary system that harbors a black hole with a mass seven times that of the sun, which is pulling matter from a normal star about twice as massive as the sun. The Chandra observation revealed a bright X-ray source whose spectrum showed dips produced by absorption from a wide variety of atoms ranging from oxygen to nickel. A detailed study of these absorption features shows that the atoms are highly ionized and are moving away from the black hole in a high-speed wind.

Understanding the importance of magnetic forces in the disk of gas around J1655 could have far-reaching implications, from the supermassive black holes associated with powerful quasars, to planet-forming disks around young sun-like stars.

Saturn Aslant June 15, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Cassini, JPL, NASA, Planets, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute.
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Saturn Aslant

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute 

Description:

This oblique view of Saturn shows what may be localized upwellings in the clouds of Saturn's southern hemisphere. Although the contrast is low, a vortex is visible near lower right.

This view looks toward the unlit side of the rings.

The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The image was obtained using the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 8, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn and at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 152 degrees. Image scale is 17 kilometers (10 miles) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.cfm. The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org.

The Garabogazkol June 14, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Earth, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, Planets, Satellite, Space Fotos, Terra satellite.
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The Garabogazkol

Credit:

Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team,
NASA GSFC

Description:

This MODIS Terra image, acquired June 12, 2006, shows the Garabogazkol (also known asthe Kara-Bogaz-Gol) – a shallow depression in the northwestern corner of Turkmenistan. Separated from the Caspian Sea by a thin sandbar, its water volume fluctuates seasonally. At times it becomes a large bay of the Caspian Sea, while at other times its water level drops drastically.

The water is very salty, much more so than the Caspian Sea, and has almost no marine life vegetation! The salt has been both good and bad – the valuable salts have been harvested from the 1950s on. But the salt has also caused health problems and poisoned soil for hundreds of kilometers downwind to the east.

Tropical Storm Alberto June 13, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Earth, JAXA, NASA, People, Planets, Satellite, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM).
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Tropical Storm Alberto

Click here to view full image (829 kb)

Credit:

Steve Lang (SSAI/NASA GSFC), Hal Pierce (SSAI/NASA GSFC), NASA, JAXA

Description:

Alberto began as a tropical depression on the morning of June 10, 2006, having formed from an area of low air pressure over the northwestern Caribbean Sea. This depression moved generally northwestward through the Yucatan Channel between western Cuba and the Yucatan Peninsula and into the south-central Gulf of Mexico. The system was rather poorly organized as a result of southwesterly wind shear. This shear pulled the weather system from the rounded shape of a typical tropical storm and gave Alberto an elongated center of circulation. Nonetheless, hurricane hunter aircraft and ships reported strong winds, and on that basis, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) classified the system as a tropical storm and gave it the name Alberto at 11:00 a.m. EDT on June 11.

This visualization shows data collected by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (TRMM) at 19:42 UTC (3:42 p.m. EDT) on June 11, 2006, soon after Alberto had become a tropical storm. It maps rain intensity as viewed by the TRMM satellite. Rain rates in the center swath are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar, and rain rates in the outer swath are from the TRMM Microwave Imager. The rain rates are overlaid on infrared data from the TRMM Visible Infrared Scanner. TRMM confirms that Alberto was poorly organized. The center of circulation is well to the southwest of the heavier rain areas (darker red and green areas). In fact, there is essentially no rain in the immediate vicinity of the center. This highly asymmetric structure results from wind shear. At the time of this image, Alberto was a weak tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70 kilometers per hour (45 miles per hour).

After these images were taken, however, the wind shear pushing the storm off center decreased, allowing Alberto to become better organized. On June 12, Alberto had become a strong tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 km/hr (70 mph) according to the NHC, just below hurricane strength. The system was continuing to track to the northeast towards the coast of Florida, where a hurricane watch was in effect.

TRMM was launched in November 1997. From its low-earth orbit, TRMM has been providing valuable images and information on tropical weather systems using a combination of passive microwave and active radar sensors, including the first precipitation radar in space. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency, JAXA.

A Sight to Behold June 11, 2006

Posted by jtintle in Cassini, JPL, NASA, Planets, Satellite, Saturn, Space Agencies, Space Fotos, Space Science Institute, SSI, Titan.
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This view was taken from above the ringplane and looks toward the unlit side of the rings. Here, the probe gazes upon Titan in the distance beyond Saturn and its dark and graceful rings

Credit:

NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

Description:

Cassini's "eyes" — its powerful imaging cameras — bear witness to the majestic and spectacular sights of the Saturn system, as this views attests. Here, the probe gazes upon Titan (5,150 kilometers, or 3,200 miles across) in the distance beyond Saturn and its dark and graceful rings.

This view was taken from above the ringplane and looks toward the unlit side of the rings.

The image was taken using a spectral filter sensitive to wavelengths of infrared light centered at 938 nanometers. The image was obtained using the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 10, 2006 at a distance of approximately 2.9 million kilometers (1.8 million miles) from Saturn and 4.1 million kilometers (2.6 million miles) from Titan. The image was taken at a Sun-Saturn-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 149 degrees. Image scale is 17 kilometers (11 miles) per pixel on Saturn.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

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